ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

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Lapid urges coalition MKs to vote against budget: ‘It’s stealing public money during wartime’

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid speaks during a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on November 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid speaks during a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on November 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid urges coalition members to vote against the government’s 2023 wartime budget update in its first Knesset vote today, saying that the NIS 30 billion funding reshuffle will permit sectoral looting of public coffers.

The updated budget redirects funds to the war effort, but leaves untouched about NIS 1 billion in funds previously allocated to political promises.

Finalizing the budget paves a path for those so-called coalition funds, currently frozen, to flow to ultra-Orthodox and West Bank settler priorities, among other uses.

“This is not a budget, this is an illegal order issued to MKs to steal public money during wartime [as part of] politics,” Lapid says, opening a special conference on the economy organized by his Yesh Atid party.

In comments directed to coalition members, Lapid says: “What is going on with you? How are you letting this happen? How are you doing this to our soldiers and our commanders? To families? To reservists? How do you do this to the people of Israel?”

The opposition leader calls on lawmakers “who still have a conscience and sense of responsibility to the nation to vote against this disgraceful budget” and to “stop the shame.”

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